The best domain names are never available, and picking another name from a list of hundreds is as time-consuming as it is disappointing.

When you find the perfect domain for your business, only to find it gathering dust in an obscure corner of the Internet, what can you do about it?

One popular method of securing a specific domain name is placing a domain backorder.

This service gets you a spot on the bidder list when the time comes for an auction, giving you everything you need to buy your dream domain name.

While there's always some expense involved with back orders, some platforms and techniques are more cost-effective than others.

Let's take a look at how you can use domain backorder services at next-to-no charge.

What Exactly is a Backorder?

When you want a domain name that belongs to someone else, using a backorder service (also called a dropcatching service) gives you a reliable way to purchase it.

Domain backorders provide an edge over others seeking the rights to a domain. They will often come with a domain monitoring membership to track interest in a particular domain auction.

Backorders aren't a foolproof solution. The domain name registrar might sell to someone else at auction, or the original owner may still be eligible to renew.

But if you backorder a domain name, you receive priority rights over thousands of other potential bidders and always know whether someone else is about to outspend you.

How do Domain Names Work?

To better understand where a drop-catch service fits into a domain's average life cycle, here's a summary of the process.

  1. Before anything else, a registrar places a domain name on the market. At this point, just about anyone can purchase that domain name.
  2. Once a domain gets purchased, the website attached to it goes online. All services associated with this site are available for an agreed-upon period, usually one year.
  3. Most registrants renew well in advance of their domain's expiration date. However, if the registrant fails to renew in time, the registrar takes that domain offline for up to 45 days. The previous owner can still choose to renew during this time.
  4. If the registrant takes no action during the previous 45 days, a grace period begins, and the domain goes to auction. While bidders compete to purchase rights to a domain, the registrar will gradually delete information on the old website.
  5. The old owner can still renew, although for a much higher price, during the grace period. If they don't, and if no bid gets accepted, the host can delete the domain. At this point, it reenters the market, and the cycle begins again.

The Best Sites to Place a Backorder

For backordering services, SpamZilla recommends these registration sites in order of their standard cost in USD.

If a host has a limited variety of top-level domains (TLDs), their selection is noted in parentheses. Bolded sites are the most popular recommendations.

  • (.IO, .LY, .ME, .TO, .SH, .AC, .VC, .GG, .JE) - $99
  • NameJet - $79
  • SnapNames - $79
  • Pool - $60
  • Hexonet - $59
  • DropCatch - $59
  • Backorder Zone - $50
  • Nidoma (.IT & .ES) - $33
  • CatchTiger (.NL, .BE, .EU, .UK, .FR, .CH, .IT .LI) - $29
  • GoDaddy (.COM, .CO, .INFO, .ORG, .NET, .ME, .MOBI, .US .BIZ) - $25
  • DynaDot - $15
  • Pheenix - $14

Tips for Reducing Costs

  1. Use multiple backorder services. If the service you use is unable to complete your domain name registration, you'll always receive a full refund.

    Thus, it helps to use more than one backordering service when searching for a domain name. You vastly increase your odds of success at no additional charge.
  2. Look for cheap backorder domain names. Among all available backorder domains, there's usually a number of them that are within days of being deleted.

    During this window, the demand for the domain name will have reached a low point, and you'll face a much lower fee.

    You're also much more likely to avoid interference from one of the previous domain owners.
  3. Avoid private auctions. While you can backorder a domain early, depending on the site you use, doing so runs the risk of multiple interested buyers using your same registration service.

    If this happens, you might find a GoDaddy domain backorder goes into a private auction. This situation dramatically increases the fee to buy your domain name. Waiting until the last few days reduces the opportunity for this sort of competition.

Need Help Finding the Right Domain Name?

SpamZilla compares millions of expired domains to help you get some of the cheapest backorder domains.

Set up your account, browse more than 350,000+ new domains every day at, and set up your desired domain name backorder. We provide a great customer support team among our services, too.